Omnichannel is a relatively new concept for today’s marketers. Despite its relatively new tenure in the marketing world, the idea of omnichannel has made a strong impact on businesses and consumers alike, and it doesn’t look like omnichannel is going away anytime soon. In a time where consumers constantly accessible through dozens of marketing platforms, marketers must embrace omnichannel now. Consider these three steps when starting omnichannel marketing, if you haven’t already.

Step one: Find Your DMP

With an omnichannel approach, a data management platform is a must-have for retailers. A data management platform (DMP) collects, manages, processes, analyzes, organizes and activates data. There are plenty of DMPs available to marketers, so choosing the right platform is imperative to your omnichannel success.

There are a few important qualities you may want to consider when choosing your DMP. Businesses should consider how the platform integrates 1st and 3rd party data, how the platform can be utilized, the platform’s cross-channel management abilities, and how easy the platform is to use.

Finding the right DMP can help businesses create a much more comprehensive, 360-degree profile of their customers, a key foundation for marketing personalization.

Step two: Develop Content

The key to a seamless, omnichannel experience lies within the content of the marketing messages that customers receive. Although consumers are receiving messages on different platforms, the messages must be unified and consistent with one another. All messages directed to customers must reflect products and ideas of the overarching marketing campaign.

Developing consistent messaging can be a stumbling block for some businesses. When faced with the dilemma of message uniformity and also personalizing content, marketers often decide to just “batch and blast” generic campaigns across the board. However, with carefully planned strategy and new technology, businesses can combine uniformity and 1:1 personalized marketing with much less effort and spend compared with several years ago.

DMPS and automation platforms can help pull in data from customers so that the right bits of content can be used in messaging, whether it be product offers, copy and language, or design.

Erik Schulze, VP at Yes Lifecycle Marketing, expects that personalization will only become more of a necessity in the next years. In a MediaPost article regarding email marketing personalization, Schulze said, “As the number of emails go up, the engagement with those emails goes down…it’s much more important to have a more personalized discussion or address personal needs.”

And email is just one of the channels marketers should be personalizing…

Step three: Consider all Channels

There are a variety of other channels that retailers should be taking advantage of for optimal coverage.

As the millennial generation becomes the primary target for retailers, companies must adjust their omnichannel strategies accordingly. Raised in an era that incorporates technology into everything, milennials are naturally tech-savvy. Their familiarity with technology will likely influence marketing strategies. Almost three-fourths of today’s consumers believe digital technologies will transform the way businesses use their channels to interact with customers.

Therefore, marketers should be able to access these customers through more, nontraditional channels. This opens more doors for businesses willing to market through social media, apps or SMS. Businesses that are unwilling to embrace new technologies will be left behind.

Despite the increase of technology in today’s marketing, marketers should not forget about old, traditional marketing channels.

Brick-and-mortars, the most traditional channel for marketing, are still important to customers. Brick-and-mortar account for over $4 trillion in sales: a majority of the retail market. Providing an enjoyable in-store experience is still vital for success in the marketing world.

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If you’re still looking for more ways to get started with omnichannel, check out some of our favorite omnichannel campaigns.
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A customer data management platform acts as the backbone for any company using data to understand customers and generate sales. Data management platforms are multi-functional entities, as they collect, manage, process, analyze, organize, and activate data. And, as data-driven marketing continues to drive revenue, data management platforms have become a common implementation for all types of businesses.

While there are a number of data management platforms available for businesses, not all data management platforms are created equal. Smart retailers should evaluate the following four components to determine which data management platform is most effective for their marketing campaign.

Integration of 1st and 3rd party data

Cross-referencing 1st and 3rd party data yields gratifying results for marketers. Examining both types of data creates opportunities to hyper-target and hyper-personalize marketing toward customers.

However, it is important to note that data management platforms integrate 1st and 3rd party data differently from one another. For example, consider the practices of the platforms Blue Kai and Knotice. In a Forrester Study, Blue Kai was recognized for its “established leadership position in the third-party audience data space.” This contrasted against Knotice, which placed “strong focus on first-party data” with “little third-party data integration.”

Integrating 1st and 3rd party data has become a priority for businesses. A 2012 Winterberry Group study of marketers, publishers, technology developers and solution providers explored the importance of assimilating data, finding that 85% of the respondents considered integration of 1st and 3rd party data a “core competency” in desirable data management platforms.

A respondent from the study expanded on this idea even further, saying that data management should “allow us to harness first-party data, overlay the right third-party sources and create rich profiles of our customers that extend beyond the data we may have on their specific interactions with us.”

The “Right” priorities

There are several uses for data management platforms. Customer insight development, targeted media buying, CRM program optimization, and site content optimization are just a few ways customer data can be used.

Because of this, businesses must make sure that its end goals coincide with what a specific DMP can offer. Since businesses have different reasons for managing data, they must make sure that their DMP organizes, analyzes and presents customer data in a way that best corresponds with their priorities.

For example, consider findings from the previously aforementioned Winterberry Group study regarding important priorities for Data management platforms. While almost all marketers (93%) agreed that customer insight development is an important priority for future DMP support, a mere 59% call advertising yield optimization an important priority.

These findings tell us that marketers have varying priorities and reasons for utilizing data. While most marketers are looking for a DMP that offers customer insight development, only a fraction of marketers are looking for a platform that presents advertising yield optimization.

Cross-Channel management

Your ideal DMP should incorporate data from multiple sources. Data from multiple channels provides a better understanding of customers’ experiences. Omnichannel practices in data management platforms produce a complete profile of a company’s customers. This 360-degree view of a customer is guaranteed to enhance marketing personalization campaigns.

Bridget Bidlack of the DMP [x+1] is an advocate of this cross-channel implementation. In an interview, she said that ideal data management platforms should “close the loop by ingesting campaign data from all channels and vendors, as well as offline activities like in-store sales and call center interaction.”

Bidlack further explains that this helps marketers use data to its fullest extent.

Ease of use

Marketers, advertisers and data management platforms themselves have recognized the importance of data management. Data management platforms have been called the “brain,” the “backbone” and a “must-have” for companies.

In other words, data management platforms are a central component for a company’s success in the marketing world. Because these platforms carry so much influence over marketing success, understanding the data gathered and analyzed is imperative to a company’s success.

Getting stuck with a data management platform that is difficult to use can present unnecessary complications and create stress for companies. Choosing a straightforward DMP that is easy to use is critical for businesses that want to optimize data. Data-driven marketing is too reliant on data management platforms to incorporate a complicated, time-consuming platform into business practices.

71% of respondents in a Forbes Insights and Turn study believe that reliance on data-driven marketing will only increase this upcoming year. With high expectations for data-driven marketing in 2015, hopping on the data management platform bandwagon (if you haven’t already) is optimal. Just be sure to choose the right data management platform for a successful future!

Easiest one-to-one marketing suiteIs Nectar really the “easiest one-to-one marketing suite”?  Yes! We have developed an integrated SaaS suite that makes the marketer’s job easy as pie.

And how have we done it?  Our comprehensive software suite allows marketers to take disparate big data about thousands (or millions++) of customers and create individual 360-degree profiles in real time, then determine the BEST marketing message for each of those customers and get it to them, regardless of the device or channel they use.  No technical expertise required!

Do you have lots of data in different places that you know has value, but you just can’t seem to get all the dots connected? nectarConnect will do that for you. We are your quick and easy Data Management Platform.

Do you have communications that you’re trying to personalize for your customers but just can’t make it relevant enough for them?  Have you tried customer segmentation but aren’t getting the results you expected? nectarEssence will apply our proprietary algorithms to your data and generate one-to-one marketing messages for each of your customers IN MINUTES!

Do you struggle to get relevant messages to your customers across all the touchpoints you have?  nectarEngage will distribute your one-to-one marketing messages to each of your customers, no matter how many you have, in real time, across email, mobile, website, and social.  Really!

Listen to our Founder & CEO, Amrit Kirpalani, talk about Nectar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMCPhluRuTg.

 

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And, Just Because You Have ‘Big Data’ is Not One of The Reasons to Get a DMP

Data Management Platform

Wondering where I’m going with this post because I said having Big Data is not one of the reasons to get a Data Management Platform (or DMP)? Read on …

The term Big Data is now like consultant — it means different things to different. { I’m in that group of folks that uses the term big data to describe our company … so, guilty as charged }. During a number of our meetings, the topics of data almost always comes up, whether it is about clean, dirty, big, small, or no data.

So, I thought in this post, I’d write about what a data management platform is and why many companies are moving from thinking about big data to data management.

Before I go much further, let me provide a brief description about what a data management platform is. To provide a perspective: a DMP is a system of processes and technologies that manages (or normalizes) your data to allow the business user to extract value / information easily from that aggregated data set.

Said another way: a DMP allows you to actually get your job as a marketer done (whether that is finding an insight, generating a report, building a model or executing a campaign).

How do you know your company needs a DMP? Here are the top five ways { Letterman countdown style }:

 

# 5 … You’ve Got More than 1 Data Source that is Updated Frequently — AT&T has Big Data because it has records about millions of us and every one of our calls logged … but so does MOOYAH Burgers (a fast-growing restaurant chain based right here in Dallas where we’re located). An important trait about the data, though, is that the information is updated frequently creating a need to continually process & normalize the data.

I’ve yet to come across a business that only has 1 data source … this particular reason means there are lots of companies out there that need DMPs.

 

# 4 … Your Data is Sitting With More Than 1 Vendor — Heard of the story from a marketing colleague where they say, “Well, I have to wait for agency X or company Y to give me a flat file so I can run my analysis”? Well, if you have more than 1 vendor you work with that produces data for you { think agency, social media platform, media buying, email operations, etc. } then maintaining a centralized data management platform is a strategic imperative to both ensure you have data that is well-connected but that you can also readily enable cross-channel or cross-data source analysis.

 

# 3 … You Have Marketing Operations that Rely on “Real-Time” Customer Data —  Basically, if you have a need for ‘production analytics’, the customer data management platform ensures that your data sources are loaded, processed, and normalized. The normalized data can then be readily used for analysis, reporting, or modeling to serve as inputs for a variety of activities & functions.

Example of marketing activities that require product analytics include:

> 1:1 mobile app recommendations

> Populating executive dashboards

> Churn or attrition modeling

> Customer life cycle behavioral triggers

 

# 2 … You are Focused on Marketing Objectives that Drive Revenue, Engagement, and Loyalty — { This would be our # 1 except that I have an even better # 1 in our top five reasons countdown. } There are so many different data sources, lots of different tools, and more data than you can have easily tied up into a pretty little package.

The problem is, as marketers we’re spending more & more of our time getting information ready for decision making and NOT enough time evaluating the data for decision making. Consequently, our role as a marketer is changing rapidly to spend valuable resources on data vs traditional marketing tactics.

Implementing a robust customer data management platform allows marketers to focus on marketing again.

 

# 1 … You’re a Data Rock Star and Don’t Have a Programming / Analytics or Related Degree — You are the go to person in your team just because you were able to build that awesome analysis { in Excel } by mashing together those 3 data sets about the product, customer, and behaviors. Everyone else is in awe and you were up for multiple nights in a row cleaning and doing all of those Lookups! { You know who you are! }

Going back to # 2 above, while you are a rock star for trudging through the data and likely getting hi-fives for having a reputation of getting things done, how much of a bigger rock star would you be if you were able to spend time devising that new campaign that grew engagement 15% or innovating on an existing promotional offer set, reducing costs 10%?

It’s time for that DMP.

 

Have any other reasons you’d add to the list? Drop me a comment below.

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